Pope Francis named the 17-member International Commission of Inquiry Medjugorje on the return flight from Sarajevo, which will replace one established in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI to investigate the phenomenon of alleged Marian apparitions in the Herzegovinian mountain village. The Commission was led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the longtime chairman of the Italian Bishops' Conference (1991-2007) and close friend of Pope John Paul II. As the Cardinal reported Pope Francis gave the Commission's final report, referred to it several times on the plane to journalists as "significant work." Ruini blurted spontaneously: "Any way. That makes me happy. "
Preferably Rome a Gentle Solution?
A statement that is obviously meant for the long duration of the decision. The Commission had concluded its work shortly before the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Since then, the final report is in Rome. The Argentine pontiff seems in no hurry. In Rome the main concern applies to the part of the faithful who are so convinced of the authenticity of Medjugorje that a negative judgment of the Church could shake or alienate even them from the Church and the faith.
For this reason they are looking for "gentle" solution, which will satisfy opponents, such as the bishop of Mostar, and proponents, such as the Archbishop of Vienna, without them losing face, maintains the validity of the negative decision by the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference 1991 and guides the faithful. In the Church that sometimes means not to decide and "ride out" a question.
Interview with the Mariologist and Commissioner Salvatore Maria Perrella
On Tuesday, another member of the Commission of Inquiry, Father Salvatore Perrella Maria took a public position. The Servite is Rector of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the Marianum in Rome and teaches Dogmatic Theology and Mariology.
"We have worked thoroughly and seriously," said Father Perrella, quoted for the daily newspaper Avvenire. The judgment of Rome will reflect the fact and point out that "appearances are always possible", and if they are recognized as genuine, "represent a gift from God," said the Mariologist.
"However, the Church has the duty to preserve the primacy of revelation, by understanding these special events only as supports of the gospel of Christ," said Father Perrella. "The Virgin Mary is radiant, but still a creature of God that never overshadows the encounter with Christ, but always encourages. Apply the words of Mary in the Gospel of John: do what he tells you to do.' As John Paul II taught, the phenomena include the maternal mediating role of Mary. "
Lifestyle of the "Seers" Important - Messages on "Doctrinal Ambiguities" Examined
The Mariologist pointed to the importance of the right way of life of the seer. "If they are real, they do not seek the visions. Rather, it is God who leads. It is also necessary that they keep a contemporary life in the Gospel; in addition, they may not seek the limelight."
The judgment of the Medjugorje phenomenon was carried out by the commission of inquiry, said Father Perrella, after the last of the criteria supplemented by Pope Paul VI. There are "positive criteria": "Even the place of events has its importance, because it must have rich and lasting spiritual fruit. That is, looking for evidence of conversions, testimonies of charity and vocations."
But there were also "negative criteria" said the Mariologist: "There are clearly errors associated with the event, such as lies or storytelling. In addition, any doctrinal ambiguities are analyzed in the messages or profit, i.e., whether, the 'seer' or 'other' beneficiaries speculate with the events. Science also provides its contribution. For example, by determination of psychological diseases."
A third decision option?
Due to its confidentiality, the Mariologist did not say what conclusion the commission of inquiry had come to. About this he said amazing things about the judgment. Avvenire emphasized his words in bold type. Has the Servite thus anticipated the decision of the Vatican?
"You can say that moral certainty exists with a supernatural character. Or that it is the result of fraud and therefore does not come from God. There is a third possibility, which is not included in the provisions of the Holy See, but it has been considered by the theologians: The Commission chooses neither a yes nor a no, but notes that at present there is not an obviously blatantly supernatural phenomenon."
Father Perrella referred to the non-decision as a "third way". As a member of the commission of inquiry it must be assumed that he has thus not merely posed theoretical speculations.
Recognize as a place of worship, Report Directly to Rome and Not Definitely Confirm Phenomena
On August 14, 2013 Ignazio Ingrao published in the weekly magazine Panorama article: "Will Pope Francis Stop Medjugorje?" That was a month before the new pontiff took a position for the first time unofficially on Medjugorje. Ingrao wrote:
"After the disclaimer on Medjugorje that, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI were put forward [...] now many hope that Bergoglio's Marian devotion will cause him to officially recognize the apparitions.
According to the first indiscretions, surrounding the the visions, it seems on the contrary, that the solution to propose to the Pope, the Commission is recognize Medjugorje as a simple place of worship, but insinuate direct control of the Holy See. This without definitely commenting on the phenomena. "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Medjugorje.pro/Secretum meum mihi (screenshots)
Image: Medjugorje.pro/Secretum meum mihi (screenshots)
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